CARES Act Supplemental Operating Fund Draw Downs For Immediate Needs Only

Today, HUD’s Financial Management Division (FMD), sent out an email to PHAs regarding the draw down of CARES Act Supplemental Operating Funds. PHAs should only draw down CARES Act Supplemental Operating Funds as needed to fund eligible, immediate needs to prepare for, prevent, and respond to coronavirus. Unlike regular Operating Funds, which can be drawn down all at once, CARES Act Supplemental Operating Funds can only be drawn down to pay for immediate needs and cannot be held as reserves. These funds are available to PHAs via a single obligation to a unique grant number, ending with the letter “C.” Any funds that have been drawn down other than to pay for immediate needs must be returned to HUD. Returned funds will be reapplied to the funds available under the Award Number/Project Number and will remain available through December 31, 2020 or at a later date if HUD deems an extension necessary. PHAs that have drawn down funds in excess of their immediate needs should contact their Field Office.

HUD PIH Clarifies CARES Act Funding Timeframe Eligibility and Reporting Requirements

Earlier today, HUD PIH sent an email to PHA Executive Directors clarifying the timeframe around the use of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding and clarifying CARES Act reporting requirements. Additional questions regarding the CARES Act may be sent to PIH-COVID@hud.gov.

The text below is taken directly from the email sent by HUD.

Q: What is the start date for use of new public housing funds under the CARES Act? Is it the date of the implementation notice (April 28, 2020), the date they were awarded (May 1, 2020), or the date the CARES Act was passed (March 27, 2020)?

A: 2020 Public housing funds were disbursed for public housing starting May 1, 2020. These funds can cover expenses, including expanded COVID-19 related expenses included in Notice PIH 2020-07, that were incurred starting March 27, 2020. CARES Act obligations should not relate back to a period any earlier than March 27, 2020. 

Q: What is the start date for the use of new HCV Program Administrative Fees awarded under the CARES Act?

A: 2020 HCV Program Administrative Fee funds were disbursed starting May 7, 2020. HCV Administrative Fees can cover expenses, including expanded COVID-19 related expenses included in Notice PIH 2020-08, that were incurred starting March 27, 2020. CARES Act obligations should not relate back to a period any earlier than March 27, 2020. 

Q: My PHA incurred a number of expenses related to COVID-19 prior to the arrival of the CARES Act funds, as our local outbreak started in February. Can these funds cover those expenses? What if we used other funds to cover these expenses– can those accounts be reimbursed?

A: For the public housing program, expenses incurred beginning on March 27, 2020 can be paid for with CARES Act supplemental operating funds, public housing operating funds or public housing capital funds. For the housing choice voucher program, expenses incurred beginning on March 27, 2020 can be paid for with CARES Act funding or FY 2020 administrative fees. If the PHA used other accounts to pay expenses incurred on March 27th or later, they can be reimbursed by the CARES Act funding.

Q: Can you clarify the CARES Act reporting requirements?

A: As described in PIH Notice 2020-07 and PIH Notice 2020-08, the CARES Act requires that recipients of $150,000 or more of CARES Act funding submit certain information regarding the use of CARES Act funds.

This reporting is required for “covered recipients,” defined as any entity that receives covered funds that amount to more than $150,000.  PHAs that receive CARES Act funds that amount to more than $150,000 will be subject to this additional reporting requirement based on the total amounts awarded, not each individual grant award. As outlined in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum, M-20-21, existing reporting requirements are anticipated to meet the requirements of Section 15011, but the content and format for this reporting is still under development and will need to be reviewed against current program practices.  The Department will work in coordination with OMB to ensure that this requirement can be fulfilled by recipients of CARES Act funding in a manner that utilizes to the greatest extent possible existing reporting streams, providing the necessary transparency and accountability with minimal additional burden.  If additional reporting is necessary, further guidance will be released by the Department in the near future. 

Chris Campbell Joins NAHRO for the Summer!

Greetings! My name is Chris Campbell, and I’m a Master of Public Policy (MPP) student at the University of Michigan. I’ll be interning remotely with NAHRO’s Policy and Program Development team this summer.  

Before starting graduate school, I worked for the Los Angeles City Council’s Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst, where I staffed the Planning and Land Use Management Committee.  My work with the Committee introduced me to the basic aspects of the nation’s affordable housing shortage, as well as the debate over which strategies can best help families meet their housing costs.  

Everyone needs a place to live – as a lifelong resident of Southern California, I understand the stress high housing costs can place on a family. This isn’t just a West Coast problem, however. Cities and rural areas across the country need more affordable, high-quality homes to promote the health and well-being of their residents, a fact laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. The urgency of our nation’s affordable housing shortage will only grow in its aftermath. I look forward to working with NAHRO’s member agencies and HUD this summer to gain more insight into how federal, state and local government can work together to help renters and owners keep a roof over their heads, especially in these unprecedented times.  

I’ll be posting to the NAHRO blog weekly about housing-related policy developments, so stay tuned!  

Mainstream Voucher Allocation Notice Published

Earlier today, HUD published Notice PIH 2020-09 titled “CARES Act Mainstream Funding for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) Awarded Funding Allocations in the 2017 and 2019 Competitions.” This notice establishes the process for allocating new Mainstream vouchers according to the requirements of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Mainstream vouchers are vouchers that serve households that include a non-elderly person with disabilities.

Eligible PHAs are those that previously received a Mainstream voucher allocation through either:

A list of those PHAs can be found here (eligible PHAs are those PHAs with entries under the “2017/2018 Awards” column and the “2019 Awards” column).

Eligible PHAs will receive an increase in Mainstream voucher units of thirty percent. If an increase results in a fractional voucher, HUD will round up. Increased budget authority will be calculated based on per unit cost using the most recent data available to HUD for each PHA. A PHA may decline this increased allocation. Administrative funds will be provided in accordance with PIH 2020-04 (a notice implementing the Housing Choice Voucher program in calendar year 2020).

The Department will publish additional guidance on receiving and using extraordinary administrative fees (these fees are not provided in this allocation). Additionally, Mainstream voucher programs will also be eligible for additional CARES act supplemental HAP funding, the distribution of which will be detailed in forthcoming guidance.

The COVID-19-related waivers detailed in PIH Notice 2020-05 are applicable to Mainstream vouchers.

The complete notice can be found here.

Webinar Tomorrow: Managing During COIVD-19: Community Development: CDBG, HOME, ESG

Join NAHRO and Acting HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development (CPD) John Gibbs from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. eastern tomorrow, May 13, 2020, for a discussion on CPD’s response to the COVID-19 emergency. With a focus on CDBG, HOME, and ESG, Acting Assistant Secretary Gibbs will provide an update on CPD’s efforts to provide communities with access to waivers and supplemental funding and provide insights into CPD’s actions to address the COVID-19 crisis. Following the update, Acting Assistant Secretary Gibbs and his staff will join us for a moderated question and answer session.

Register for the complimentary webinar here!

HUD PIH to Hold Conference Call on Friday (5/15/2020 at 3:30 pm ET)

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing will hold a conference call on Friday (5/15/2020 at 3:30 pm ET). Planned topics for discussion include the following:

  • PHAS waivers including physical inspections;
  • Protection of personally identifiable information;
  • Remote video inspections best practices; and
  • Information on a quick guide created to assist housing authorities with strategies and planning related to the impact of the pandemic on communities and stakeholders.

Call in details may be found below.

Suggested Attendees: PHA Executive Directors or Operations Managers, PHA occupancy specialists, PHA staff performing both PH and HCV HQS inspections, and PHA accountants.
See below for call-in and login information:
Step 1: Dial into the conference.
Dial-in: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633
Access Code: 0339017##
Need an international dial-in number?
If the automated recording indicates the conference is full, please use overflow information:
Dial-in: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 Access Code: 0154662#
Step 2: Join the conference on your computer.
Entry Link: https://ems8.intellor.com/login/826642

A calendar invitation may be found here.

1st Round of CARES Act Admin. Fees Released

Earlier today, HUD released a press release announcing the first round of administrative fee funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The new funding will impact all PHAs, including Moving to Work (MTW) agencies. The funding covers two months worth of administrative fees and may be used for traditional purposes as well as for new costs related to protecting assisted families and employees impacted by the COVID-19 event.

Assistant Secretary Kurtz stated that “HUD is committed to assisting PHAs during this time so that assisted families can stay safe and healthy . . . [p]roviding these additional funds to PHAs will give them more tools to address local needs and respond to the Coronavirus pandemic as effectively as possible.”

Eligible uses of the administrative fees may be found in PIH 2020-08 here (NAHRO summary here).

HUD’s press release on the CARES Act administrative fee funding may be found here.

Allocations of the funding may be found here.

PHAs Receive CARES Act Supplemental Operating Funds

Today, HUD allocated the $685 million in supplemental Operating Fund dollars included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to PHAs. The funding was allocated to PHAs via the Operating Fund formula. In HUD’s press release announcing the allocations, Assistant Secretary for PIH Hunter Kurtz noted “[t]he work of public housing authorities has never been more important than today.” PHAs with public housing programs can use the supplemental funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. HUD issued guidance on how these supplemental funds can be spent on Tuesday, April 28.

A list of allocations can be found here

Thank you to everyone that contacted your legislators through NAHRO’s Advocacy Action Center to help get the CARES Act passed last March. Your messages of how important affordable housing is during a pandemic played a critical role in the HUD programs receiving supplemental relief funding.

NAHRO is providing additional coronavirus resources on our website.

NAHRO Webinar: Managing During COVID-19: Funding, Flexibility, and Fulfilling our Mission; May 5, 2020 at 2pm Est

NAHRO would like to invite you to a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 2pm eastern time – Managing During COVID-19: Funding, Flexibility, and Fulfilling our Mission.

Housing agencies are responding in real-time to the coronavirus and its impact on day-to-day operations and the residents they serve. Hear from federal officials and NAHRO on available resources and flexibilities provided by Congress and being implemented by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

You will also hear from local housing officials on how they are adapting their programs in the current environment.

We will be joined on the webinar by:

  • R. Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Patricia Wells, CME, NAHRO Senior Vice-President, Executive Director, Oakland Housing Authority, CA
  • David S. Gates, CS-PHM, CSO-PH, CME, CMPO, Executive Director, Housing Authority of the County of Lonoke, AR

Bring your questions and comments and join your fellow PHAs for this interactive webinar!

Register for Managing During COVID-19: Funding, Flexibility, and Fulfilling our Mission!